Plasma neuropeptide Y concentrations in patients with neuroendocrine tumors

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1989 Apr;68(4):808-13. doi: 10.1210/jcem-68-4-808.


In order to develop an immunoradiometric assay for human neuropeptide (hNPY), a recently discovered and potent vasoconstrictor 36-amino-acid peptide, we used hNPY and some of its subpeptides to prepare monoclonal anti-NPY antibodies. Two monoclonal antibodies with high affinity for hNPY, that is affinity constants in the range of 10(10) mol/L-1, which respectively, reacted with the 9-18 portion and the 32-36 portion of hNPY were used in the immunoradiometric system. The assay was highly specific, NPY-related peptides such as pancreatic polypeptide and peptide YY not being detected. The lower limit of sensitivity was 0.5 pmol/L. In 303 normal subjects, plasma NPY concentrations were less than 0.5 pmol/L in 67%, 0.5 to 5.0 pmol/L in 25% and 5.1 to 30 pmol/L in the remaining 8%. A value of 7.5 pmol/L (95th percentile value in the normal group) was considered as the upper limit of normal. Among 111 patients with various neuroendocrine tumors, elevated plasma NPY concentrations were found in patients with pheochromocytomas and neuroblastomas, the highest plasma levels being found in patients with malignant pheochromocytomas. We conclude that patients with neuroendocrine tumors, especially secreting and or malignant tumors of the sympathochromaffin system, often have elevated plasma NPY concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / biosynthesis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoid Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoma / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epitopes / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroblastoma / blood*
  • Neuropeptide Y / blood*
  • Neuropeptide Y / immunology
  • Pheochromocytoma / blood*
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Epitopes
  • Neuropeptide Y